HOME FOR CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE
April 25, 2022
HOME FOR CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE - Elizabeth Mukwamugao
My name is Elizabeth Mukwamugao. I live in Ubarini Village, Tunyai sub location, Tunyai location, Chiakariga ward in Tharaka Nithi County. I live with my lovely husband Joseph Nyagal and my four children, two boys and two girls. My first born is a boy, is in secondary school at Materi boys and two girls are schooling at Kamujwa Primary and expecting to sit for their final primary school examination this year and the last born is in grade four.
I was introduced to farming while I was young since my parents were farmers and it was the main source of income in our family. After completing my primary school examination in 1996, I joined my parents in farming since they were not able to pay for my school fees to continue with my secondary education. In 1999, I wedded my beloved husband and our parents gave us a piece of land and I started farming with my husband in order to cater for our family.
Life was not easy since what we produced from farm could not enable us to meet the basic needs in our family. Since my husband was a carpenter, he decided to move to the nearest town to look for a job. Luckily, he was employed in a certain polytechnic where they were making seats for their students, so we were able to get at least two meals in a day and get clothes for our children. In the following year, we had experienced enough rainfall whereby I planted cowpeas and harvested 93kgs in one acre and this encouraged me to continue with farming after having been lost hope in my farm.
In 2019, around July, I meet a lady Fidelia Munyoki, who was promising to train farmers about good agricultural practices that would help us increase our production and restore our hope in farming. Fidelia was then an agronomist working with NCCK. Through interactions with people and farmers meetings, I wound get to hear about Conservation Agriculture, but I have never thought of putting it into practice. We started with trainings that linked us into groups. I become an active member and was interested to learn more and practice what we had been taught.
The following season, I practiced Conservation Agriculture in my farm. I spread all the remaining crop residues in the entire land to retain moisture content and planted cowpeas in an. I managed to harvest 3 bags each of 100kg. This was a big improved compared to what I used to harvest before practicing CA.
Through trainings and exposure visits, I have been exposed to various farming practices like irrigation during the off season which as increased our source of income. Under irrigation practice, I have plated maize, sweet potatoes, cassava, agroforestry, and bracharia grass for livestock feeding.
The level of production in my farm has changed since I started CA practices, and this has enabled me to get 4 meals per day in my family. I am able to pay school fees for my children and provide for other basic needs. I have restored the fertility of my soil.
I say thank you to NCCK for restoring our hope in farming.